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Election laws now headed to Senate after National Assembly nod

MPs unanimously passed the changes which include the declaration of a presidential winner if the sole opponent withdraws/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 11 – A Bill containing amendments to election laws has been transmitted to the Senate after the National Assembly approved it during its morning sitting Wednesday.

MPs unanimously passed the changes which include the declaration of a presidential winner if the sole opponent withdraws.

“We want to make it clear that in 2013, the Supreme Court made mention to Section 138 (1) (b) which does not exist in the Constitution but in May it made a correction saying it meant Section 138 (8) (b) which talks about where a candidate or his running mate dies,” Majority Leader Aden Duale explained.

“Mr Speaker, to the best of my knowledge as of yesterday, both Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka are alive and we pray they don’t die because they are good leaders.”

The legislation also provides for the concurrent electronic and manual transmission of tabulated results from polling stations to the National Tallying Centre.

The House passed the amendments sponsored by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo which also provide that failure to transmit the results electronically shall not be used to invalidate the poll instead the Commission to develop a complementary system as back-up.

“Where there is a discrepancy between the electronically transmitted and the physically delivered results, the Commission shall verify the results and the result which is an accurate record of the results tallied, verified and declared at the respective polling station shall prevail,” Cheptumo explained.

MPs also agreed with recommendations by a select committee to uphold a clause that the IEBC Chairperson must be qualified to be a Supreme Court judge under the Constitution.

The House team also dropped a clause delegating some of the Chairman’s powers to the vice chair or other IEBC commissioners and another one which sought to reduce the quorum at the Commission from five to three dropped.

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